Vietnamese startup named Ecohost won innovation grant

By Hoai An - Oct 24, 2018 | 12:31 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERVietnamese startup travel company Ecohost beat 110 competitors to take second prize in the 2018 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism challenge.

The 2018 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST)’s second prize comes with a $5,000 innovation grant.

Ecohost enables quality tourism experiences in the Vietnamese countryside, working village-by-village to develop tours and activities while improving the capacity of rural homestays to serve international guests.

Vietnamese startup named Ecohost won $5,000 USD – grant
Ecohost's presentation

CEO of Ecohost Bui Thi Nhan said that: “The MIST innovation grant will enable us to deliver skills training courses across three villages and upgrading homestays for 15 families.”

The elite travel startup competition, supported by the Australian Government and Asian Development Bank, includes Asia’s most prominent travel-specialized venture capitalists among its advisors.

MIST supports high-growth-potential emerging market startups in travel and hospitality – especially startups that generate positive impacts for communities, culture, and the environment.

Ecohost came in second to BambooLao from Luang Prabang (Lao). BambooLao is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastics from hotels and resorts across Asia. They have produced more than 80,000 reusable bamboo straws and other bamboo utensils, using indigenous bamboo varieties and a proprietary natural treatment process.

“BambooLao, Ecohost, and other MIST finalists demonstrate how the Mekong region’s bright, innovative entrepreneurs are finding practical solutions to solve industry problems, while striving to make tourism more inclusive and sustainable,” said Jens Thraenhart, co-organizer of MIST and executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.